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iOS 16 Font Can Be Changed Without Jailbreak

Apple thinks carefully about which system settings it grants access to – many options remain closed without a jailbreak. But a tinkerer has now managed to adjust the system font under iOS 16 without having to laboriously unlock the iPhone beforehand.

Change the font without jailbreak: possible thanks to the exploit on the iPhone

Apple has been very slow to open up iOS to visual customization over the years, but still doesn’t believe in the idea of ​​giving users too much freedom. One of the examples: The official system font of iOS is San Francisco (SF Pro), and customization is actually not possible with unmodified firmware. But now the developer and inventor Zhuowei Zhang have found a way. It works without a jailbreak but is based on an exploit that was closed in the latest iOS 16 version.

As Zhang explains on Twitter (via 9to5mac ), the CVE-2022-46689 vulnerability makes the iOS system font trick possible. This can be found on devices with iOS 16.1.2 and older and was finally closed with iOS 16.2. As can be read on the project’s GitHub page, he and three other inventors initially experimented with what the gap could be used for. Based on this preparatory work, the idea for a “proof-of-concept app for overwriting fonts on iOS” was born.

Samsung’s curious font is also on board

When the app was released, Zhang provided four fonts, but then added four more a little later. One font, in particular, will immediately catch the eye of attentive observers: Choco Cooky. This was developed by Samsung and has made a name for itself on the web as one of the most bizarre fonts alongside the classic Comic Sans. Also note: since other parts of the system use different fonts, the change does not affect all texts in iOS.

Anyone hoping to get an easy way to customize fonts for iOS with the app will be disappointed. All changes will be reset after restarting the device. And even if you save yourself a jailbreak here, using the application itself is quite complex: For installation on iPhone and iPad, the Xcode project itself has to be compiled or the IPA file has to be signed manually with a developer certificate.

Mark Goodman

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